Health experts discuss lasting effects from COVID-19


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Doctors now know COVID-19 can affect more than just the respiratory system.

But they’re still learning just how it affects people’s bodies — and how long those effects may last.

They say it’s hard to know what those long-term effects will be because they say we’re still early in the pandemic.

“We’re seeing patients even in the hospital setting who seem to have recovered so to speak from their COVID,” says Dr. Paul P. Cook, East Carolina University’s Infectious Disease Specialist

Doctors say patients who’ve had COVID-19 do get better.

For many, though, there’s a catch.

Dr. Cook explains, “They are definitely not back to normal and they’ve got some serious lung problems.”

Experts say other patients considered “recovered” also experience memory issues and hair loss.

Dr. John Silvernail, the Pitt County Health Director says, “It’s sometimes common whenever the body suffers a physiologic or psychological stressor that folks can have hair or skin changes and those may or may not be permanent in terms of relationship to COVID.”

Doctors and scientists admit they’re a long way away from answers, but they keep getting another question — what about a COVID vaccine?

“What I think is less clear is how effective this vaccine is going to be. And really concerned that people are putting too much weight in the efficacy, effectiveness of this vaccine,” says Dr. Cook. 

Pitt County health director says local growth of coronavirus cases is slowing.

The doctor says that’s because more people are following the three W’s — wearing masks, washing hands, and waiting six feet from others.

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